HUMBKE-Conradi-Callies-George-Fontaine-Harris #10 JAN2017

Blog 10, 28 JAN 2017:  Ernst Dietrich Friedrich Humbke Sr. builds a permanent home 14 miles East of Wetaskiwin, North-West Territories, Canada (now Alberta) for his family in the New Berlin/Verdun Community of the Duhamel District.

“Ernest Sr.” was born Ernst Dietrich Friedrich Humbke Sr. on 30 OCT 1867 in  Windheim Village, Germany to Ernst Dietrich Christian Humbke b. 02 AUG 1845 & Sophie Louise Humbke (Schnepal) b. 11 SEP 1843 m. 27 OCT 1867

Ernst Dietrich Humbke Sr. 1937 Trip to Florida (probably in front of an orange tree)

Ernest Sr. was born 30 OCT 1867 (3 days after his parents’ marriage) and baptised on 17 NOV 1867 at Windheim #57, Germany. At the age of 15 he boarded the HH Meier to make the trip alone across the Atlantic. He arrived in New York on May 12, 1883 and made his way to White Lake, South Dakota where he joined his Uncle Chris on his homestead.

The rest of Ernest Sr’s family joined him at Buffalo Center, Iowa where they spent a year before settling on a Homestead in the White Lake District of South Dakota. In 1893 they moved to Woden, Iowa where they resided until 1901. In July of 1899 his father was killed while hauling logs to build a Lutheran Church.

Ernest Sr. journeyed to Edmonton, North-West Territories, Canada in 1900 and filed for 3 homesteads in the names of Louisa (mother), Ernst (himself) and  Dietrich Ernest (younger brother).

In 1901 the family, except for sister Sophie Conradi (Humbke), moved to the North-West Territories of Canada and became homesteaders 14 miles East of Wetaskiwin.

On 01 SEP 1905 the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created out of the North-West Territories.

MUSIC AND THE FAMILIES

Most of their time was spent eking out an existence as homesteaders, but music was to provide an outlet for  social activities, recreation and finding a spouse. In the early 1900’s, the Battle River Cornet Band, consisting of four Humbkes (Dick – Leader, Ernst Sr., Alvina, and Emma), brother in law Carl Callies, Dave and Charlie Widen, Guy Suys and C. R. Wieberg, was formed. The band played at picnics and other social function in the local communities.

Dances in the Barns of local farmers, one room Schools and Community Halls were the most popular social activity.

In years to come, music and bands were to become a major social and business activity for the Humbke, Callies, George, Fontaine and Harris families in Wetaskiwin, Camrose and surrounding communities.

ERNST SR. AS A HOMESTEADER, FARMER AND STORE KEEPER

Upon arrival in the North West Territories of Canada, Ernst Sr lived with his mother, brother Dick and 3 sisters. Together they farms all three 160 acre homesteads.

The SE 1/4 of Section 12 Township 45 Range 22 West of the fourth was in his name and it is here that Ernst Sr. & Mary had 3 girls:

Erna Louise Humbke b. in Rosenroll (2 miles West of Bittern Lake) NWT 19JUL1903;

Elsie Sophia Marie Alvina Humbke b. on Homestead, Duhamel District, AB     08APR1905; and

Martha Emma Augusta Humbke b. on Homestead, Duhamel District, AB         11JUN1906.

Lawrence, Ernest , Martha, Elsie and Erna Humbke

In 1907 Ernst Sr. and Mary sold their 306 acres of land in Iowa, USA to Lyman and Samuel C. Hough of Grundy County, Illinois, USA for $12,800 and bought 320 acres (East 1/2 of Section 35 Township 45 Range 22 West of the 4th) across from the New Berlin one room school. It was here that two  boys were born to  complete the family.

Ernest Dietrich Humbke Jr. b. at home across from New Berlin School, Duhamel AB b. 03JUN1908; and

Lawrence Henry Humbke b. at home across from New Berlin School, Duhamel, AB 21MAY1911.

The spelling of Ernst Sr.’s name on documents fluctuated between Ernst and Ernest over the years. In the end he was referred to as Ernst in his will, but Ernest on his gravestone.

His first son, Ernest Jr., was often referred to as Ernie by his peers, but to us nephews and nieces he was always known as our friendly uncle who liked to show his love by twisting his knuckle on the top our head.

Ernst Sr. was an adventurous, risk taking, entrepreneur at heart and in 1913 took his family to Edmonton where he opened a store (confectionary or general)r. Business may have been okay, to begin with, but because of a growing animosity toward citizens of German ancestry the business was a failure and the three girls suffered from discrimination at the “North West Edmonton School” at 6902-128 Ave. Edmonton. The girls attended that school from Jan. 1913 to Mar. 19014 before returning to the New Berlin School (soon to be renamed Verdun School) to finish their elementary education.

The school close in June, 1952 and all students were bused to New Norway School in the Camrose School Division. On October 26, 2000 Verdun School was officially declared a Provincial Historic Site and is presently used  for reunions and other events.

L to R Ernest Jr., Elsie, Mary, Ernest Sr. & Lawrence Humbke
About 1930

In April 1914 the family returned to live on their farm where Ernst Sr and his boys worked hard to survive the inflation period following WW I and the depression of the 1930’s. My father, Lawrence, told that  during the 30’s the tires were taken of the car, oil was put in the cylinders, and the car sat on blocks in a shed – all because there was no money for gas.

On 16FEB1944 Mary passed away from blood poisoning  as a result of stepping on a rusty nail. For the last months of her life she was cared for by her middle daughter, Elsie Hladik (Humbke) and family.

Ernst Sr. passed away peacefully on 26SEP1947 in the family home he had built in 1907.

EDUCATION AND THE HUMBKES

The New Berlin School’s name was given by Mr. and Mrs. Pehr Pehrson after the name of their previous home in Berlin, New  Hampshire. It was built in 1902 at cost of $700 and opened it door in 1903 and closed in 1952.

Mary Humbke (Mrs Ernst Humbke), age 34,  and her sister in law, age 13, (Emma Humbke) were among the first 12 students. They attended classes from 1903 to 1907 and would be followed by 45 Callies, George, Fountaine and Humbke relatives over the next 50 years.

2001. The number 578 indicates the school was the 578th school build in the North-West Territories. The addition on the right side was a result of a small teacherage, originally build to the East of the School about 1920, being added to the school in 1930. As part of a tree planting ceremony in 2001, a spruce tree was planted by Lawrence Humbke to honor the Ernst Humbke Sr. family.

As of 1907 the Ernst Humbke farm was closest to the school and a source of water, boarding for teachers, janitoring, and starting fires during the winter. The three Humbke girls (Erna, Elsie and Martha) attended there and went on to Camrose Normal School where they were trained as teachers. All three worked in one room schools in rural Alberta. Erna taught at Verdun  1923-1925 and Elsie in 1925-26. Ernest and Lawrence completed grade 8 before working full time on the farm and playing in a dance band with cousins.

In 1918 the Department of Education asked the local School Trustees to change the name, as New Berlin was offensive because of WW I. Verdun was chosen as the new name to honor the 976,000 military casualties suffered by the allies and axis in the 303 day Battle of Verdun, France.

Verdun School was the meeting and social center of the community for all activities – educational, religious, political, social (dances, box socials, films, meetings, anniversaries etc.)

June 5, 2016 Spruce trees that were planted in 2001 by Lawrence & Marvalin Humbke (Vanouck) in honor of their families.

The Verdun School is still used for gatherings. On the first Sunday in June of each year the “Annual Verdun School Strawberry Shortcake, Ice Cream & Tea Reunion” takes place. Other family reunions, picnics and camping activities are a common activity.

Raymond Keinst is the President of the Verdun Historical Committee for 2016-17.

RELIGION AND THE HUMBKES

Religion had always been a very important for the Humbke family.

Ernst Sr. and his father were founding members of the German Lutheran Church NE of Titonka Iowa. Ernst Sr. donated 3 acres of land for the church to be built on and his father was killed while hauling one of the first loads of logs to build the church. (see Post #5)

In the 1920’s the Reverend Henry Immanuel John Kuring, a Lutheran Pastor, came to the Camrose District where he held services and instructed religion classes at the Verdun School. He was a very good friend of the Ernst Humbke Sr. family and Louisa Humbke (Ernst’s mother). Reverend Kuring wrote Louisa’s will in long hand – a will in which she gave 1/3 of her assets to the Lutheran Church. He was to later marry her eldest granddaughter, Erna Humbke (age 21) on Aug 19 1924.

In Canada, Ernst Sr. became a member of the Megiddo Mission, a very small, independent group of enthusiastic, dedicated Christians who depend on the Bible for everything they believed and practice. There is one small church in New York City where they publish the “Megiddo Message” – an inspirational religious bi-monthly focused on Bible study and application… Helping you LIVE the Christ-like life in the 21st century was the goal. It contained no advertising.

The Megiddo Church in Rochester, New York was the only Migiddo Church ever built.

Ernst Sr. only saw pictures of the church, but he faithfully read and studied all their publications, and in his will he gave half of his farm (160 acres of land) to the Megiddo Mission. Shortly after Ernst Sr.’s death, Lawrence (,his youngest son and my father) phoned them in New York and offered to buy the land at the  value stated in the will ($3,825). I believe they immediately agreed, because they had no interest in land in Alberta and probably thought that such a loyal follower would be stating the true value of his possessions upon contemplating his end, on earth. Their publications continued to arrive through our weekly rural mailbox, weather permitting, but were seldom read by anyone other than myself. I especially valued the American stamps for my collection. They played a minor part in my religious education, as I was at the same time taking  very thorough, demanding correspondence lessons in the Catholic faith.

ERNST’S CHARACTER

Ernst Sr.  was a stoic who accepted his lot in life without complaint. He was a man of strong character, a religious man who saw and fulfilled his duty of making sure his family stayed out of debt and was financially secure. He was more of a deep thinker who spent his time reading and contemplating life.

He was not what would today be considered an ideal grandpa. Ernst Sr. did provide stability and support for his own family, but did not show great physical affection. His grandchildren saw him as a stern, strict grandpa who seldom talked and paid little attention to them.

Erbest Sr, and Mary Humbke 9 Westenf)
Although I believe this is a picture of Ernest Sr. and Mary Humbke, there is a discrepancy in heights and if it is their 25th anniversary (1927) they are age 59 & 69. The “look” on Grandpa’s reflects his character as I percieve it to be. Your opinion is sought!

Ernst Sr. was generous to others in need and often gave help and assistance. His good relationship with local Native Indians started back in 1901 when he spent time with a tribe of 300 Indians in the Fort Saskatchewan area while searching for a homestead. From them he learned of available land South on the Battle River.

In later years local Indians would occasionally come to his home for food if hungry. Granddaughters remember seeing Indians sitting  on the floor, against the wall of his kitchen, eating a plate of food he had given them. This relationship was continued by his sons who would hire Indian families from the Hobbema Reservation to come and pick roots.

As his grandson, I also had an interest in native people and lived on Metis Colonies and Indian Reservation where I was a teacher, coach and Boy Scout/Cub Leader. From 1993 – 1999 I lived common-in-law with a Metis wife, Dorothy Quintal, and helped raise three of her children. Dorothy taught Cree and I started a Metis Dance Group.

 

Chris Humbke (see blog #2), the uncle of Ernst Sr., was the first Humbke to arrive in North America in April of 1878. Chris was followed by Ernst Sr. in May, 1883. In Aug, 1883, Mary (future wife of Joe George) arrived with her & Ernst Sr’s mother and father, plus two sisters and a brother. Alvina (future wife of Dave Fontaine) & Emma (future wife of Ernest Harris) were two more sisters, both born in White Lake, South Dakota.

L to R Joe George, Ernst Humbke Sr., Chris Humbke, Dave Fontaine and William Harris at the Louise Humbke Homestead – approx. 1925

In the photo above, Chris Humbke was visiting his sister in law, nephews and nieces in the Wetaskiwin area before returning to his home in South Dakota. Joe was wearing a tie so the photo was probably taken on a Sunday after church services. Ernest Sr. appears to be the shortest and Ernest Harris  appears to be the tallest man. One of the four wives was probably taking the photo and the other three would be busy preparing a Sunday dinner.

WILL OF ERNST’S DIETRICH FRIEDRICH HUMBKE SR.

Last years of Ernst Sr., at the age of 71 years, had the following will written on 14 JAN 1939. In it he leaves

 

After his wife’s death in 1945, Ernst Sr. would spend his winters with Ernest Jr. and his family. His son, a carpenter, built a cozy cabin for him on his farm which was just 1 mile South of the farm of  Ernst Sr.

Ernest Jr., his wife (Adeline “Toots” Denton) and their 3 daughters (Gerry, Donna and Barbara) took their meals with Ernst Sr.  One of the grandaughters’ main memories of Grandpa is that there were never any bones on his plate after eating fish. White fish from Pigeon Lake was a favourite delicacy, but mothers and children had a great fear of him choking on the bones. It was amazing to them that Grandpa could eat the bones with no problem whatsoever.

Most of Ernst Sr.’s time was spent in his cabin reading, thinking or talking with his son in the evenings.

Denton Ernest Humbke (son of Ernest Jr. and Toots) was born 24SEP1947, just two days before the death of his Grandpa, Ernst Humbke Sr.

In the summer Ernst Sr. would return to his own house where Marvaline (Lawrence’s wife) would prepare his meals and look after him. Their daughter, Rose Marie, would take him his meals which he usually ate alone and Lawrence would visit him in the evenings.

I remember him for the strong smell of his pipe smoke – which to me had a very pleasant aroma. He slept on a cot just inside the front door and didn’t seem to mind if I rode my tricycle in his house.

Once when he had gone to town with my parents, I played scientist and took his battery radio apart. The fear of a beating resulted in me hiding in a hay manger where I fell asleep. After much searching and hollering I was eventually found and yes I did get a spanking from my dad.

My deepest memory of Grandpa Humbke was that of a long black hearse coming up our  laneway to pick up his body for his last ride

 

 

Ernest Jr. and Lawrence were the Executors of his Estate.

Ernest Sr. is buried, next to Mary his wife, in the Wetaskiwin City Cemetery at Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

As time goes on I hope to collect more photos and document which I will be adding to these blogs. Any corrections, information, photos or documents would be very much appreciated. You can easily contact me in Edmonton AB at 780-782-6277 or rogerhumbke@hotmail.com

 

 

HUMBKE-Conradi-Callies-George-Fontaine-Harris Blog#8 NOV2016

GREAT GRANDMOTHER SOPHIE MARIA LOUISE HUMBKE (SCHNEPEL) BRINGS HER FAMILY FROM WODEN, IOWA TO 3 HOMESTEADS 14 MILES EAST OF WETASKIWIN, ALBERTA IN APRIL, 1901.

Preamble: Before beginning this blog I would like to urge you to read an article by Brett & Kate McKay published Nov. 21, 2016 “Memory is Moral: Why Every Man Should Do His Genealogy” www.artofmanliness.com.

The most meaningful two reasons for finding out about our relatives are expressed in the following two quotes which are taken from the article.

          “Along the chain of your family line, there are folks who faced hardship,                 suffered, and found the strength to continue on. Even if they weren’t perfect           people, they did do one thing well: they stayed alive — long enough to pass           on their genes, long enough to impart the blood that now runs through                   YOUR veins. They gave you the gift of life, and shaped you into who you are             today.”

memoryismoral-1

Preventing the Second Death, or How Memory IRedemptive”

             Every person dies twice.

             The first death comes when their body physically expires.

             The second occurs when their name is spoken for the last time.

             For most people, their second death arrives when the last person they                      knew during their lifetime also passes from the earth. No one remains                      who knew them in the flesh, and their memory is buried along with their                bones.

             For those people whose posterity does their genealogy, however, their                      memory never dies. Their name is read and known by he who first                            compiles a family tree, and by all the individuals who come after and                        keep sacred the record.

             Viewed in this light, genealogy is an act of redemption. Through our                        family history research, we can save our ancestors — even the lowliest                      and most apt to be forgotten — from the second death.

              Memory is moral.”

Louise Humbke’s (Schnepel) Family in Germany

My Great Grandmother (some of you will refer to her as Grandmother; Great GM; Great Great GM; or Great Great Great GM) – the Matriarch of the Humbke Family in the USA and Canada, was Sophie Louise Humbke (Schnepel). This name was verified by Reverand Robert C. Greene while visiting churches in Windheim and Dohren, Germany. Reverend Bob’s wife in a 6th cousin, one removed, of my grandfather Ernest Dietrich Friedrich Humbke Sr. The Reverend lives in Georgetown Texas and as a Master Genealogist has added over a million individuals to his family tree in Nov. 2015.

On documents and during her life in North America Great Grandmother was most often referred to as Louise. On her will, written in 1923, Louise signed with a “X”, possibly because of age as she did sign with a signature on earlier occasions.

Louise was born at #38  Dohren, a small German village a few miles North of Windheim on the (East) side of the Weser River. If you go to Germdohernany a great trip would include the German Emigration Center & German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven; plus a trip up the river by boat from there  to Windheim or the closest city the boat docks.

Louise was born on 11 Sep 1843 to Johann Fridrich Konrad Schnepel b. 24 May 1807 d. 26 Feb 1875 and Marie Luise Elizabeth Schnepel (Kaelcke) b. 15 Jan 1814. They were married 24 Dec 1833 in Dohren.

Johann’s siblings were a. Marie Sophie Elisabeth m. to Conrad Diedrich Nurge; b. Johann Cord Diedrich m. to Christine Luise Charlotte Berning; c. Johann Diedrich Conrad m. to Marie Christine Wilhelmine Nurge; d. Marie Sophie Wilhelmine m. to Friedrich Conrad Wilhelm Lubkemann; e. Christine Luise m. to Johann Friedrich Christian Schnepel.

Luise’s siblings were a. Caroline Luise; b. Sophie Elisabeth; c. Johann Conrad Diedrich m. to Christine Wilhelmine Dammeier; d. Sophie Luise Wilhelmine m. to Johann Friedrich Konrad Kaiser; e. Marie Caroline Charlotte m. to Heinrich Wilhelm Schopman; f. Johann Friedrich Wilhelm; g. Sophie Charlotte m. to Friedrich Conrad Mertens..

Louise’s siblings were Ernest Friedrich Conrad m. to Catherine Lisette Dorette Busching and Auguste Wilhelmine Luise.

Louise Schnepel marries Ernst Humbke has 7 children in Windheim & moves to USA.

Louise was married on Oct 27, 1867 in Windheim to Ernest “Dietrich” Christian Humbke and 3 days later their son Ernest Dietrich Christian Humbke Sr. was born. During the 1800’s in Germany the birth of illegitimate children was a common occurrence and often meant the child could not inherit property. As a result, children born during the 8 month period after a marriage was a common experience.

After her son Ernest Sr.,  Katherine Sophie Marie  was born on Oct 17, 1869, and then Louise experienced the grief of losing her child-in-coffinnext two children.

Sophie Wilhelmine Louise was born on Aug 30, 1872 and died 2 months and 8 days later on Nov. 4. Another daughter, Sophie Louise followed quickly in Oct 3, 1873 and then Louise Wilhelmine Marie on Jun. 17, 1876, before the second Sophie died on Feb, 1878 at age 4 yrs. and 4 m.

“In the past, the German dead were buried by different rules. Before mortuaries and undertakers, neighbors and friends helped out. The body was washed, dressed and laid out in the parlor. People mourned their dead by wearing black. According to some practices a widow had to wear black 1-5 years (some wore it for the rest of their life). Parents and in-laws were required to wear black for 1 year, so were children. Grandchildren wore black for 6 months. Germans differentiate between “tiefe Trauer” and “stille Trauer” showing by outward signs how the death of a loved one affects them and what importance they thought they must place on the burial ritual. Most people could afford to only bury their dead without elaborate ceremonies and have the death registered in the local church book. Many of these entries consist of one line, giving very scanty information.”

One can only reflect on their names, dates and the joy the two deceased girls must have brought their parents and siblings. The memories of those two girls, plus all other still and premature deaths, should be remembered in family histories. A special church service should be held at all family reunions where the names are called out, of all ancestors who have passed away prematurely.

Dietrich and Louise Humbke arrived in the USA in 1883 and spent a year at Buffalo Centre, Iowa before going to White Lake, South Dakota where they homesteaded and added two more girls (Alvina & Emma) to their family. In 1891 the family bought and moved to a farm North West of Woden, Iowa where they settled until 1901. In 1899 Dietrich was killed in an accident and in early 1900 Ernest Sr (now patriarch)  went to Alberta, Canada were he filed for 3 homesteads. He returned to Iowa where plans were made to move to Wetaskiwin, Alberta in early 1901.

Ernest Humbke sr., Dietrich Humbke & brother-in-law, Carl Callies head for Wetaskiwin to be followed by Louise, 4 daughters & grandson, Herman Callies .

On March 16, 1901 the men left Woden, Iowa with 3 boxcars of machinery and animals to prepare homes on their Alberta homesteads. Two weeks later Louise, Minnie, Mary, Alvina, Emma and 2 yr. old  Herman leave Woden and arrive in Wetaskiwin 4 days later (April 4, 2001) on the first all passenger train running from Calgary to Edmonton.

steamtrains
Arriving Wetaskiwin, Alberta – April 4, 1901
Woden, Iowa
Leaving Woden, Iowa – April 1, 1901

Emma Humbke (Harris) gave the following account of their journey:

“Oh yes, I remember the trip as if it happened yesterday! We came to Calgary on a Thursday and went into the immigration office. We must have got there some time during the night, as it seems to me, because we were in a big hall with a lot of other people. We took the train the next morning from Calgary. There had been only two trains each week from Calgary to Edmonton. There were passenger cars mixed in with freight cars, but we were on the first all passenger train between Calgary and Edmonton. We arrived in Wetaskiwin the afternoon of April 4th, 1901. I was eleven years old at that time.”

alberta-hotel-where-humbkes-stayed-upon-arrival-in-wetaskiwin
Rooms cost 20cents a person and a meal was served in a large bowl at a long wooden table for 20cents.

“We stayed overnight in the Alberta Hotel. There were six of us in total so some of us had to sleep on the floor of the room. The men had arrived earlier in March and were suppose to have a house before we got there, but as the spring was so wet and there were no real roads, the house did not get built. The only roads that I can remember went from one farm to another. It took one day to get to town and then another day to get back to the farm to haul in the lumber. Even with four horses on the wagon they would get stuck most of the time. Although town was only thirteen miles West of the homestead it was a long ways around at that time. We had to go by the Reimer’s bridge which, as far as I can remember, was the only bridge across the river.”

“We hired a dray to take us out to the homestead. As the house was not yet built, we had to stay with the neighbors. The neighbors had a small house with only one room and an attic but we stayed with them for ten days while the men put up a shack and we could get out of the rain.”

Source “New Berlin | Verdun School (1902-2002) 100 Years of Memories”

HOMESTEADING on virgin land 14 miles east of wetaskiwin & preparing for winter

Since the men were hauling lumber from Wetaskiwin, their frame home would have been considered an improvement over the sod home they had in South Dakota or a common log cabin. The first shelter was small, but they would soon have a 16′ by 26′ (416 sq ft) frame house that the 4 adults and two grown children would call home.

homesteading-week-2-b
A typical Alberta frame homestead house with a door and a window.  Horses were the means of transportation and music, dancing, playing cards and visiting were the main forms of entertainment.

On Sworn statements and Statutory Declarations in 1904, that gave Louise, Ernest Sr. and Diedrich Humbke clear title to their 160 acres each, the value of Louise’s house was $400 (approximately $11,000 in 2015 dollars). They could all live in one home from which they could look after their three connected quarters (160 acres each) of land. In 1902 Ernest Sr. would marry and build his own 320 sq  ft home and in 1903 daughter Mary would marry and move to Joe George’s (her husband) home.

Their first Canadian prairie winter would be on them in 6 months and they needed to grow a garden; prepare a fire guard; dig a well; build shelters for the animals; prepare a wood pile and put up hay for the livestock; and start breaking the land. From 1901 to 1904 Louise listed on her documents that she had constructed a stable, chicken coop, pig pens, smoke/root houses and 1 mile of barb wire fence.

breaking-virgin-soil
Breaking the Virgin Ground was the hardest work. It seems that a team of four large oxen was best for pulling both plowing the ground and pulling out  the large stumps, but because of availability local horses were more commonly used.

The Homestead Act gave a claimant (160 acres, or 65 hectares) for free, the only cost to the farmer being a $10 administration fee. Any male farmer [Louise was one of the few women granted a homestead] who was at least 21 years of age and agreed to cultivate at least 40 acres (16 ha) of the land and build a permanent dwelling on it (within three years) qualified.

On 14 Sep. 1904 Louise received her Certificate of Naturalization as a British Subject, and is within Canada, entitled to all political and other rights, powers and privileges, and is subject to all obligations to which a natural born British subject is entitled or subject within Canada.

 

dscf6174
Family dressed up for a special Sunday occassion – fall about 1924. Back L to R 2nd-Ernest Humbke; 3rd Earl George; 5th Ernest Humbke Sr.; 8th LOUISE HUMBKE; Front 2nd boy Lawrence Humbke

Louise stayed on the homestead until around 1923/24 when she divides her 160 acre homestead, giving 80 acres to each daughter – Alvina and Emma. She moves to Gwynne and helps out in her son Dietrich’s general store. Emma also worked at the store. I have no details of who she resided with during her 6 years in Gwynne. Please advise if you have more accurate or detailed information by email to rogerhumbke@hotmail.com

inventory-of-beneficiries
Appendix of survivors of Louise Humbke (Schnepel).
louise-will-dec-22-1923
Louise’s original will was hand written by Henry Kuring, the Luthern Pastor who was to marry her grandaughter Erna Humbke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louise health was fading and she may have been in Wetaskiwin a month or a year before she passed away on Nov. 24, 1930 at age 87. She was interned at the Wetaskiwin City Cemetery by the water tower. Her upright tombstone was broken sometime in the 2000’s, but has since been repaired leaving the line 1/3 up from the bottom. One can only wonder about the mental state of individuals who do such acts.

In her will Louise’s assets were valued at $4,189.19 ($57,604 value in 2016 dollar)s. One third $1,396 (2016 $19,197) was given to the Lutheran Church and two thirds $2,793 (2016 $38,407) was divided evenly between her seven children.

The greatest joy I have gotten so far, from pursuing an interest in knowing more about my ancestors, has come from the feeling I now know my great grand mother as a person. Research over a longer period of time; visiting her grave site a number of times; talking with others about her life; finding out who her parents were; and realizing the trials, tribulations and triumphs she experience during her life have all resulted in me being able to say “I Love You Great Grandma Louise. I hold proud memories of you in my heart!”

marie-loouise-schnepel-humbke-wetaskiwin-county
Sophie ‘Louise’ Humbke (Schnepel)
marie-louise-schnepel-humbke-wetaskwin
Louise Humbke’s tombstone at Wetaskiwin City Cemetery
obituary-louise-humbke-1930
OBITUARY in Weaskiwin Times for Louise Humbke

 

Humbke-Conradi-CALLIES-George-Fontaine-Harris BLOG#7 OCT2016

Charles (Carl) Ludwig Callies, Louise (Mina) Wilhelmine Marie Callies (Humbke) & 2 year old son (Herman) emigrate from Iowa, USA to Wetaskiwin County, Alberta, Canada.

Preamble: Researching a family history continues to amaze me! On Oct. 10, 2016 I chatted twice on the phone with Sandra Pundyk, a great-great-granddaughter of Ernst Dietrick Christian and Marie Louise Humbke (Schnepel), the sister of Ernst Humbke Sr. (my grandfather). Thus Sandra is my 2nd cousin once removed and her mother, Marion Eloise Firth (nee McShane, nee Callies), who lives in White Rock British Columbia,  is my 2nd cousin. What was AMAZING was that Sandra is the first Callies blood relative I have ever talked to in 73 years. What was even MORE AMAZING was the degree of openness and trust present when I met Sandra and her husband in Edmonton. It was truly wonderful to at last establish a connection with the Callies – Humbke bloodline thru conversations with their grandchildren and great grandchildren living in BC and AB.

Minnie is buried in the Wetaskiwin cemetery next to my grandparents and her grandmother. So I have now contacted a new bloodline and already see similarities between myself and ancestors/relatives that, just the day before, I didn’t know as individuals. It is fascinating and makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end! I feel like an explorer of old who has just discovered a new continent. 

Louise “Minnie” Wilhelmine Marie Callies (Humbke)

My history of the Callies family begins with the marriage of my Great Aunt, Louise “Minnie” Wilhelmine Marie Humbke to Charles “Carl” Ludwig Callies on 19 Jan. 1898 in German Valley, Hancock County, Iowa (a few miles West of the Humbke farm of Minnie’s family).

Minnie was the fifth child born on 17 Jun 1876 to Ernst Dietrick Christian Humbke and Marie Louise Humbke (Schnepel) in Windheim Village, Windheim Church District, Westphalia, Prussia. Her older brother (Ernst Sr.) was already in America, her older sister (Catherine Sophie) accompanied her, and her two previous sisters (Sophie Wilhelmine – d. 2months and Sophie Louise – d. 5 years) were buried in Windheim.

Minnie arrived in New York at age 7 aboard the SS. Neckar on 4 Aug 1883. She lived with her family at Buffalo Center, Iowa for a  year; moved to the family homestead near White Lake, South Dakota for the next 7 years; and then returned with her family to a farm near Woden in 1901 where she lived until her marriage to Carl in 1898.

Carl and Minnie had their first son Hermann Dietrich Ferdinand Callies b. 09 Jan 1899 on their farm near German Valley, Kossuth County, Iowa. Hermann was to become very interested in academics and writing. Two  other sons: Frederick b. Nov 1903 and Edward b. Jan 1906 also wrote about their families. One son, Carl, a twin b. 17 Jan 1915 died at 7 months and I could find little written by the 7 daughters. Minnie appears to have only spoken German among the family and I  have yet to find any German correspondence from the females of the family.

Account of Carl and Minnie Callies life as written by their eldest son Herman Callies for the Treasured Memories, Gwynne and District By Gwynne Historical Society Book – 1977 (available at 3 locations in Edmonton and in Wetaskiwin).

**********************************************************“Having heard good news about Western Canada, Carl Callies decided to move. During the winter of 1900-1901 preparation was made by selling the 91 acre farm in Iowa for forty-four dollars per acre. This money provided enough for immigration and for purchasing land.

In March the box car was loaded with two horses, a cow, a crate of chickens, hay and feed for a week, a two-horse corn cultivator, walking plow (in those days called a foo burner) a six foot binder, a high wheeled , narrow tired wagon, wagon box, shoe drill, mower, rake, six-foot disc and tools common to a farmer. When the immigrant cvar was coupled to the train, Carl Callies was enroute from Titonka, Iowa, U.S.A. to Wetaskiwin. It took four days.

Mrs. Minnie Callies and son Herman, rode in the immigrant coach. This coach contained a stove to heat and to cook on, a table, benches to sit on, water in a barrel and cooking utensil, mugs and tin dishes. Bedding was supplied by the immigrants. 

Arriving on March 20, 1901 at Wetaskiwin, the train was pulled into a siding  where they  were welcomed by the pioneers. All nature seemed to be balmy as it was the spring. The snow was all gone and the ground seemed warm and dry, except for the sloughs and creek.

Unloading, application for locations, maps and directions were obtained in Wetaskiwin. They travelled ten miles south-east, fording the Battle River at what was known as the Carpenter crossing, then wen northeast for six or seven mils to open land. 

A Homesteaders Log Home reconstructed at the Camrose Museum
A Homesteaders Log Home reconstructed at the Camrose Museum, Camrose, Alberta

As there were no homesteads available in the area, Carl Callies bought land from the  Canadian Pacific Railway and Hudson Bay companies at three dollars per acre, with a ten percent payment made. Cut lines and iron stakes indicate the boundaries. This land was located on North half section 5, township 46, range 22, W4. A two room shack 12 x 20 feet was built on some high ground near a slough. There were two windows and a door. 

A well of seepage water was dug near the slough. The building of a barn followed. Some twenty acres were broken for feed oats. Hail took a toll, otherwise feed was plentiful. Another fifty acres were broken with the aid of a borrowed horse. The three horses were tethered and the cow stayed close to  the home place.

In 1902 farming was the order of the day. There were some horse powered threshers in the country. They were hand fed, hand bagged and straw carrier designed. In this year Carl Callies and his brother-in-law, Dick Humbke, bought a steam threshing rig.  Threshing was a winter’s job and continued in that year into the next February. It was stack threshing, chiefly oats. Charges for threshing were 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cents per bushel of forty-bour pounds. Such names as Amos Doupe, Ernest Switzer, Tom Cherrington and J. Reimer were  customers on the records of 1902-3.

Display of Threshing at Camrose Museum

Young men were eager to work on the thresher, and wages were seventy-five cents to a dollar a day.
The steamer burned straw for fuel. 

In 1904 a purchase of a half section of land was made, located south of Bittern Lake and bordered the river. In 1907 this land was sold to J. Pelter for twelve work horses and cash at ten dollars per acre. With more horses, greater crop acreage was available. 

In 1908, Mr Callies bought 480 acres of the land owned by the Waterous Machine Company. This was bought for nine dollars per acre. Mr. Callies was now farming about four hundred acres. He had mixed farming, grain, hogs and cattle. In the spring the hog prices hit the bottom. People were killing the young pigs and selling the dry sows for as low as two cents per pound. Mr. Callies now had about three hundred and fifty pigs, but when Gus Suys planned to kill the small pigs, Mr Callies bought ten sows for seventy dollars and got the seventy-three young pigs as a bonus. 

At this time a shortage of pork was realized by the hog trade. Swift Canadian Company needed pork. Mr. Callies loaded twenty-three wagons and hauled them to Bittern Lake from where they were shipped to Edmonton. Te sold 140 heavy weight pigs at 8 1/4 cents per pound live weight which netted near $4,000.00. This paid for the 480 acres of land purchase.

In 1916 Mr Callies purchased another section of land at $7.00 per acres. He now owned seventeen quarters of land. With World War I on, prices went up  and this purchase of land was paid for by 1920….

At time of writing, I (Herman) am the only one farming.”

Submitted by Herman Callies    [appx. 1976]                                                                         *******************************************************My father, Carl L. Callies, moved from Titonka, Iowa, U.S.A in March 1901 to Wetaskiwin, Alberta and settled on the SE1/4-8-46-22-W4. There were no roads in the country just trails. There was no place to live so Mother and Father stayed at John Reidels and Luttermans until Father built a house to live in.

Ernest and Dick Humbke came at the same time and brought three carloads of machinery and horses. Father lost three of his heavy horses from swamp fever the first year….”

Submitted by Frederick Callies  [appx. 1976]                                                         *********************************************************

Carl & Minnie Callies Family Portrait (about 1927) Standing: Amanda, Fred, Edward, Herman Sitting: Bertha, Dorothy Minnie, Carl, Wilhelmina, Alvina, & Esther

Karl Dietrich Callies (in Canada most often referred to as Charles “Carl” Ludwig Callies) was born 27 Jan 1873 in Lankow, Pommern, Prussia to Ferdinand and Paulina Callies (Dalke). At this time in history individuals often changes the spelling of their name and/or birth date, possibly to avoid being conscripted. Changing names from German to English also resulted in different spelling and to make matters more challenging the same names were used by different members of the family over the years.

Louise “Minnie” Wilhelmine Marie Humbke arrived at Ellis Island, New York in 1883 and must have been dressed in the clothes of a boy as the immigration official checked her off as being a male. Descendants describe her as being an outgoing, strong willed, hard working person. She must have been to have survived youth on homesteads in South Dakota and Iowa before moving to the unbroken Prairies of Alberta where she would have 10 children and raise 9 to adulthood from 1901 to the 1940’s.

 

Children of Carl and Minnie Callies

Hermann Dietrich Ferdinand Callies b. 09 Jan 1899 Woden, Iowa                                                                              d. 22 May 1997 Wetaskiwin – age 98

Alvinia Louise Callies b. 26 Jan 1901 Woden, Iowa                                                                               d. 06 Oct 1997 Wetaskiwin – age 96

Frederick Richard Callies b. 03 Nov 1903 Family Farm, Wetaskiwin County                                           d. 01 Oct 1987 Wetaskiwin – age 83

Edward Otto Callies b. 16 Jun 1906 Family Farm, Wetaskiwin County                                            d. 18 July 1987 New Norway, AB – age 81                                                                                   Buried – Wetaskiwin

Ester Mary Callies b. 20 Dec 1907 Family Farm, Wetaskiwin County                                            d.  ___  1978 Wetaskiwin – age 71

Bertha Margaret Callies b. 09 Sep 1910 Family Farm, Wetaskiwin County                                             d. 11 Jan 1993  Wetaskiwin – age 82

Amanda “Penny” Callies b. 27 Jan 1913 Family Farm, Wetaskiwin County                                               d. Unkown

Carl Callies (twin) b. 17 Jan 1915 Wetaskiwin Hospital                                                                    d.  __  Aug 1915 Wetaskiwin – age 7 months

Wilhelmina “Billie” Callies (twin) b. 17 Jan 1915 Wetaskiwin Hospital                                                             d. ___  1941 Tranquille Hospital, Kamloops                                                       Burial – Kelowna Memorial Park

Dorothy Alverna Callies b. 18 May 1921  Family Farm, Wetaskiwin County                                           d. Unkown

Most of the children were born at the farm home, unless otherwise stated. Dates of birth, death and location of burials will  be added as they become available.

Birth Certificates, Church Records, Immigration Papers, Education Documents, Military Service, Divorces, Land Titles, Death Records and Wills all help to present an accurate picture of what happens in an individual’s life

Will of Carl L Callies

Carl’s lived a very active, energetic life and appears to have been a risk taker like myself. At one time his oldest son, Herman, indicated he had 17 quarters of land, circumstances changed, his health failed and the dirty 30’s arrived. Indications were that he could have had Multiple Sclerosis during his last years and was confined to bed. On March 15, 1932 Carl prepared his last will and 7 1/2 month later on Oct. 30, 1932 he pass away at the age of 59.

After the passage of a certain number of years wills and documents that were once considered private, become public knowledge. If you would like to read the actual document please send me a request. I have placed some of them at https://www.pinterest.com/rhumbke/history-callies-carl-minnie-wetaskiwin-alberta/  If you want to enlarge the documents so they are easily read, you  can do it on this pinterest site.

We need to realize that everyone has ups and downs given the circumstances that they face and the nature of their health, character and gifts. Hopefully we have empathy for others and learn from our own past as well as the past of others.

According to a two page presentation made by Charles Homer Russell, Barrister-at-law for the Bank of Montreal on April 13, 1937, Carl was indebted to the bank for approximately $7,000 Part of the lawyer’s presentation read:

      “After consulting with me, and with her family, and giving                                              the matter a good deal of consideration, the said Wilhelmina                                          Callies decided that the Estate of the said Carl L. Callies was                                            insolvent, and she  decided that she would not put any                                                      money up for the purpose of having the said will probated,                                              as there would be nothing in the Estate for her, or her family.”

John MacGregor Thom, Public Administrator, for the Judicial District of Wetaskiwin submitted his final report on June 7, 1937 in which nil value was placed on all belongings, Promissory Notes, Land Mortgages and Real Estate and the will was probated by the Provincial Court.

It is my understanding that the funeral expenses of $180 (equivalent of $2,916 in 2016 dollars) was paid  to Moore & Kellner Funeral Home by Herman.

Will of Wilhelmina “Minnie” Callies (Humbke)

minnie-callies-will-schedule-a

Wilhelmina’s died on Sept. 9, 1961 (29 years after her husband) and was buried in the Wetaskiwin cemetery on Sept 12. Dr. Bell stated the immediate cause was a sudden Coronary and that he last saw her alive on Sept. 9, 1961.

Wilhelmina’s will was made on March 11, 1957 and a Codicil was added on Jan. 25,, 1960 which removed Guy Woodyard, leaving daughters Alvina (Alvinia?) Waller and Bertha Callies as executors. Her three youngest living daughters at the time of her passing, received the bulk of her estate which consisted of $4,000 in Canada Saving and Dominion of Canada Bonds. Minne had lived and worked with Bertha, Amanda and Dorothy in their beauty salons in Vancouver and Wetaskiwin during her last years.

minnie-callies-will-p-1

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How Wilhelmina’s will allocated oil points on lands, originally owned by Carl, has been a matter of contention over the past years.

minnie-callies-will-appendix-p-1

minnie-callies-will-appendix-p-2minnie-callies-will-appendix-p-3

The more I read about my great Uncle Carl/Aunt Millie, and meet and talk with my Callies relatives the more I admire their accomplishments. It is with the greatest awe, respect and admiration that I have followed the growth of a young married couple and their young son from Iowa to the wilds of the Alberta Prairies East of Wetaskiwin. They experienced the ups and downs of life, accepting the good and bad as it came their way. I just wish I could have been there for some of their barn dances and celebrations!

Humbke-CONRADI-Callies-George-Fontaine-Harris BLOG #6 SEP2016

PREAMBLE  In acquiring the skills to build this website and write a blog about the Humbke family in North America (1869 to the present) I thought the main benefits would be a personal awareness of my ancestors’ and relatives’ history, as well as developing the skills to eventually create an online business.

I was mistaken!

One of the main benefits is the feeling of a personal connection with my ancestors along with their trials, tribulations and triumphs. They may be long-gone and now in cemeteries across North America, but they have become a real memory and now live in my heart.  

BUT I must tell you that the greatest benefit and joy has been in meeting living relatives across North America and getting to know them as individuals. Through reunions, the internet, post and phone I have found second cousins  that I did not know existed. It is most amazing that a level of trust between total strangers can develop so quickly.

Such has been the case with the Conradi branch of the family, now

Dowsing (Water-Witching)
Dowsing (Water-Witching)

living in Bossier City, Louisiana. We connected through emails and our three SKYPE conversation lasted close to  an hour each. The memories we have shared have enriched both of our lives and now I want to go to Louisiana and meet Bernie and his family in person. I have googled his home and read the family tree/history he has developed, as well as researched dowsing (water witching) – a gift his father used to great benefits throughout his lifetime.

61 years ago Bernie, age 16 and I, age 12, did meet when he visited the Wetaskiwin area with his mom and dad. Our memories of the time are few but they sure are interesting and did spark  engaging conversation. My most vivid memory is that his mother wore a patch over one eye and had made me thinking of pirates. Now I know she had a problem with her retina at that time.

conrad-and-della-conradi-vitit-lawrence-humbke-in-alberta-1956
Della & Conrad Conradi with my dad, Lawrence Humbke. About 1955 in the Wetaskiwin area.

 

Bernie’s father  dowsed for water on many of his relatives’ farms in the Wetaskiwin area and the second water well on my parents’ farm was located  by him. Present day relatives and occupants of Humbke, Callies, George, Fontaine and Harris properties continue to benefit from Conrad’s unique gift.  

Henrich Conrad Conradi & Catherine Sophie Marie Conradi (Humbke) family of Titonka, Iowa.

Both Henrich’s (referred to as Henry C.) and Sophie’s parents were from Windheim County in Prussia.

Sophie was born in the Village of Windheim, Windheim County in Prussia on Oct 17, 1869 and arrive in America at age 14 with her parents Ernst Dietrich Christian and Marie Louise Humbke (Schnepel). The family spent their first year in Buffalo Center, Iowa and then homestead on 160 acres of land South East of White City, South Dakota. Sophie’s family suffered 7 year of little rain before they moved back to the Woden/Titonka area of Iowa were they remained until 1902.

Henrick’s parents were from the village of Nevenknick, Windheim County, Prussia and had settled in Wellsburg, Iowa where Henry C. was born on Sept 3, 1869.

Henry C. (age 22) married Sophie (age 22)  on Sept. 25, 1891 in Wellsburg.  They lived in Wellsburg where they had 3 children before moving to their farm NW of Woden Iowa:

Henrich Conrad Dietrich Conradi Jr.  b. July 8, 1892 Wellsburg d. July 18, 1892 at 20 days

Conrad Ernest Conradi  b. Aug 25, 1893 Wellsburg, Iowa      d. Jan 5, 1975 Corpus Christe, Texas  m. Mar 16, 1929 to Della Ella Arndt    Children: 2 boys (Arthur & Benard)

Louise Charlotte Sophie Conradi                                                                          b. Jan 9, 1896 Wellsburg d. Aug 31, 1970 Titonka   m. Apr 22, 1936 Nashua, Iowa to Clarence William Mechler. His first wife was Frances Mechler who died given birth to a son, Douglas Mechler on June 18, 1933. Douglas would become Louse’s adopted son.

In 1899 Henrich & Sophie Conradi would move to Woden, Iowa

Here they bought land from her older brother, Ernst Humbke Sr. The Conradi farm was one mile East of the German Luthern Church and across the road from Sophie’s parents home in Winnebago County. They would continue to farm this land until 1914 when Henrick Conradi passed away.

From 1914 to her death in 1951, Sophie would spend her life in a house in Titonka, Iowa where she lived in the basement and entertained guest on the main floor.

In 1936, brothers Ernst and Dick Humbke visited family in Florida and on there way back to Alberta, stopped to  visit their sister Sophia in Titonka, Iowa (May, 1937).

L to R Dick and Ernest Sr. Humbke vist sister Sophie in Titonka, Iowa in 1920

Sophie lived off the rent from the two farms she now had (her father’s farm and the one Henrich and her had bought from Ernst Sr.).

Upon Sophie’s death on Nov. 6, 1951 (age 82) the original farm of her parents went to her daughter, Louise and the original Conradi farm went to her son Conrad.

1999 – Roger Humbke at the grave of Henrich and Sophie Conradi (Humbke) at the German Luthern Church – NE of Titonka, NW of Woden and 1 mile West of their farm in Iowa.

I look forward to returning to the Conradi families in the future when I cover in more detail my dad’s and my generations. In the meantime Bernie has offered to share his family tree/history. Please contact me if you are interested.

Blog # 7 will deal with the Carl and Minnie Callies family who were also married in Iowa, but immigrated to Canada in 1902 with their 2 year old son and Great Grandmother Louisa Humbke with her remaining 5 unmarried children.

 

FAMILY HISTORY BLOG #2- June 21, 2016

Conrad Dietrich Christian Dominicus HUMBKE (1857-1938) Windheim, Germany to South Dakota, USA in 1879

In 1879 Conrad Dietrich Christian Dominicus HUMBKE (referred to as Chris throughout this blog) arrived in the USA from Windheim, Germany and settled in the White Lake – Plankinton area of South Dakota.

Chris - White Lake SD 1999
White City in 1999 when I first visited there. Population was 372 in 2010

Chris was the 6th of seven children in the family of: Ernst Dietrich Christian HUMBKE b. Jan. 31, 1821. d. Nov. 6, 1866 Windheim, Germany m. Mar. 11, 1845 to Sophie Louise WIEBKE b. Jan. 30, 1819 #22 Holge, Germany d. Nov. 6, 1866 #57 Windheim, Germany. I have no confirmation of the cause of death of the mother and father on Nov. 6, 1866 but it could have been suicide.

Children of Ernst Dietrich Christian and Sophie Louise (WIEBKE) HUMBKE:

Ernest Dietrich Christian HUMBKE b. 02AUG1845 Windheim #57: christened 10AUG1845 Windheim Church; d. 21JUL1899 Woden, Iowa; m. 27OCT1867 Sophie Louise  (SCHNEPEL) HUMBKE Windheim; b. 11SEP1843 Dohren #38; d. 24NOV1920 Wetaskiwin, Alberta. 9 children (7 girls & 2 boys) 2 girls died in childhood

Wilhelmine Louise [Luise] Charlotte (HUMBKE) BUCHORN b. 19JAN1848 Windheim #57; d. 10FEB1933; m. 27NOV1974 Johann Dietrich August BUCHHORN b. 07AUG1849 Ovenstaedt #45, Westfalen. No Children.

Wilhelmine Sophie Louise Charlotte HUMBKE b. 13JUN1850 Windheim 57, Christened 30JUN1850 Windheim 57, d. 17JAN1854 Windheim 57.

Louise Sophie Caroline (HUMBKE) HANKE b. 02SEP1852 WINDHEIM 57; d. 24MAR 1878 Windheim #148; m. 13DEC1878 Windheim #149 Carl Friedrich August HANKE b.23OCT1849 Windheim #149. They had twin daughters who died shortly after birth.

Ernst Heinrich Christian HUMBKE b. 31AUG1854 Windheim #57; d. 08JAN1938; m. 24SEP1886 Johanne Charlotte Sophie (ROMBKE) HUMBKE  b 24NOV1860 Windheim #21. Had 2 girls and 3 boys.

Conrad (Chris) Dietrich Christian Dominicus HUMBKE b. 04JAN1857 Windheim #57; Christened 18JAN1857 Windheim #57; d. 07JAN1938 South Dakota; m. 26NOV1889 White Lake, South Dakota to Marie DIRKS b. South Dakota. Had one daughter

Conrad Dietrich Friedrich HUMBKE b. 07MAY1859 Windheim #57; d. 07JAN1864 m. 23OCT1885 Windheim #44 Louise Lisettte Dorothee (DAVID) HUMBKE, b. 07JAN1864 Windheim #13; d. 15JUL1886 Windheim #44. Louise died at the birth of a child which died 1 1/2 months later. Second wife was Hanna Christine Wilhelmine (BRINCKMANN) HUMBKE b. 14NOV1861 Ilserheide, Lahde #4, m. 18DEC1888. They had 10 children.

Immigration to the United States from Germany

From 1820 to 1996 more people of German ancestry immigrated to the United States than from any other country: Germany – 7 million; Mexico – 5.5 m.; Italy – 5.3 m.; Great Britain – 5.1 m.; and Ireland – 5.1 m.

Germans choose the best farmland and in 1890, 40% of the farmland was owned by German Americans.

Cities also had a high number of German immigrants: Milwaukee 70%; Cincinnati 54%; St. Louis 45%; Buffalo 43%; Detroit 41%; Cleveland 38%; Chicago 35%;  and New York 32%.

In 2000 the actual number of German-Americans is approximately 25% of the population of the USA.

In the early 1880's Railroads were just being build into South Dakota and Chris most likely walked, rode a horse or travelled by train & wagon from New York to South Dakota.
In the early 1880’s Railroads were just being build into South Dakota and Chris most likely walked, rode a horse or travelled by train & wagon from New York to South Dakota.

Chris, at age 22, was sent by the Humbke family to America to find cheap farm land where they could settle. He arrived in New York by ship in April, 1879 and went West to Iowa and South Dakota. Ernst Sr., Chris’s nephew and eldest son of brother Dietrich, arrived on May 12, 1883.

Dietrich, his wife and the other 4 children, followed in August, 1883. They probably took an immigrant train from New York to Buffalo Center, Iowa where they stayed one year before settling in South Dakota in 1884

NW Railroad Ad for homesteadersIt appears that from 1879 to 1938 Chris lived on his homestead, farmed land and was a laborer, primarily in the White Lake/Plankinton region of South Dakota. His brother Dietrich and his family joined  him there from 1884 to 1891 when they moved to the Tionka/Woden region of Iowa. There were many other German settlers in that area of Iowa and a strong German Lutheran Church had been established.

Chris HUMBKE arrived in New York, April, 1879 and became an American Citizen on Oct. 7, 1884

Chris's 160 acre homestead SE of White City as seen in 1999 as seen by his brother's great grandson, Roger Humbke
Chris’s 160 acre homestead 4m. S & 6m. E of White Lake or 3m. S & 6m. W of Plankiton, South Dakota as seen in 1999 by his brother’s great grandson, Roger HUMBKE

Not much in known about the activities of Chris other than he lost his homestead for non-payment of taxes; married a German girl, Maria DIRKS, on Nov. 26, 1889; and had a daughter, Louise HUMBKE, on April 13, 1990.

Chris - Wedding Certificate

Marriage License of Christian HUMBKE and Mary DIRKS dated 12 noon, Nov. 26,1889, White Lake, South Dakota in the presence of witnesses his nephew, Ernst HUMBKE Sr. and niece, Sophie HUMBKE.

Upon receiving a homestead the first three tasks were to build a home of mud mixed with grass, that had a window and door; dig an earth fire guard around the house to prevent destruction of the home from a prairie fire; and prepare & plant a garden for food. Then the land was broken for seeding corn or wheat.

Sod House
Sod Homes with one window and a door were built on a stone foundation and surrounded by an earth fire-break.
A large garden, wild game (pheasants) and domestic animals were the source of food.
A large garden, wild game (pheasants) and domestic animals were the source of food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In researching the lives of the two brothers who came from a family of eight and settled in North America; Dietrich’s own family totaled eleven and provided him with 46 grandchildren whereas Chris had a wife, one daughter, and one known grandchild. I could not help but feel a certain sadness for Chris, mainly because I could find so little information about him and have not found where he is buried in South Dakota.

A few contributions of Geman Culture to life in America

German men enjoying mugs of beer
German men enjoying mugs of beer

Family events surrounding Christmas Trees, Santa Claus and New Year’s Eve were all introduced in America by German Americans. They also created a more relaxed, less puritan attitude towards Sunday. For them it was also a day of rest, relaxation and enjoyment with the family.

For further reading check out: http://www.germanheritage.com/essays/

As I read more about my grandfather, great grandfather, their wives and families, I realize the great trials and tribulations they went through to provide the life of convenience and luxury that we live today. They left a tremendous legacy we can all be proud of.

Your thoughts and questions are encouraged. I would appreciate any suggestions as to how to find more information about Chris – where he is buried in South Dakota and the NAMES & LOCATIONS of any passed or living descendant of:

  • Chris and Mary (DIRKS) HUMBKE & daughter Louise HUMBKE
  • Alex and Louise (HUMBKE) DIRKS & daughter Violet DIRKS

Unconfirmed information indicate Louise HUMBKE married Alex DIRKS b. July 20, 1884 in Syria. Louise died May 12, 1973 and Alex passed away Oct. 15,1974. They are both buried at Hill of Rest Memorial Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. According to the 1940 census daughters Violet was born in 1917 and Verena in 1919.

 

 

 

FAMILY HISTORY BLOG #1 – May 4, 2016 Ernst Dietrich Christian HUMBKE (1845 Windheim, Germany to 1899 Hancock County, Iowa, USA)

Ernst Dietrich Christian HUMBKE (1845 Windheim, Germany to 1899 Hancock County, Iowa, USA)

 In 1883 Ernst Dietrich Christian HUMBKE (referred to as Dietrich throughout this post), the first of 6 children of Dietrich (1821-1866) and Sophie Louise (WIEBKE) HUMBKE (1819-1866), boarded the “Neckar” on July 25, 1883 in Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York on Aug. 4, 1883, with his wife and four of their children. The “Neckar” (iron hull, single screw, 1 funnel and 2 masts), was built in Scotland for North German Lloyd Line who used it from 1873-96 to transport German Immigrants from Bremen to New York and the far East.
3rd Class Steerage Accomodation
3rd Class Steerage Accommodation

His younger brother (Christian) had arrived in South Dakota in 1879. Dietrich‘s oldest child, Ernest Dietrich Friedrich HUMBKE Sr at age 16, had arrived in May of 1883 and was with his uncle Christian in South Dakota.

Dietrich and Louise (SCHNEPEL) HUMBKE’s family was as follows:

Ernst Dietrich Christian HUMBKE b. Aug. 2, 1845 #57 Windheim, Germany d. Jul. 21, 1899 Woden, Iowa m. Oct. 27, 1867 to Marie Louise SCHNEPEL b. Sep. 11, 1843 Dohren, Windheim d. Nov. 24, 1930 Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada

Children:

Ernst Dietrich Friedrich HUMBKE Sr b. Oct. 30, 1867 m. Maria WESTENFELDT 

Katherine Sophie Maria HUMBKE b. Oct. 17, 1869 m. Henrich CONRADI

Sophie Wilhelmine Louise  HUMBKE b. Aug. 30, 1872 – d. Nov. 4, 1872

Sophie Louise HUMBKE b. Oct 3, 1873 – d. Feb. 13, 1878

Louise Wilhelmine Marie HUMBKE b. Jun. 17, 1876 m. Carl CALLIES

Marie Louise Lizettte HUMBKE b. Apr. 1, 1879 m. Joe GEORGE

Dietrich Friedrich Ernst HUMBKE b. Feb.21, 1882 m. Hulda WICKLAND

Alvina Maria Sophia Louise HUMBKE b. Apr 14, 1885 m. Dave FONTAINE

Emma Marie HUMBKE b. Jan. 29, 1890 m William HARRIS

Chris - White Lake SD 1999All members of the family were born in Windeheim, Westphalia, Germany with the exception of Alvina and Maria who were born in White Lake, South Dakota.

The family came from the Duchy of Prussia which was established during the Protestant Reformation in 1525 and was the first Lutheran duchy with a dominant German speaking population. It was elevated to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701 and in 1807-1813 Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Kingdom of Westphalia. In 1815 the Province of Westphalia was formed.

Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Nazis in 1933 and became the State of North Rhine – Westphalia after World War II. It is known as the “breadbasket of Western Europe (in German – kornkammer, or grannery).

imgresFor those who have a greater interest I recommend reading the “Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947″ by Christopher Clark (2009).

 

Windheim is a Church District which contains 7 villages one of which is Windheim on the Weser River. The village is located 380 Kilometers North of Frankfurt or 3.5 hours by car. Population is appx. 500.